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Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., said Thursday constituents compared Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to traitor Benedict Arnold and asked Mayorkas if he is ashamed of his service to the country.
The dramatic exchange came during Mayorkas’ testimony Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee. Buck referenced several of his constituents who he says want to see Mayorkas impeached, leading to an impassioned response from the secretary.
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“Many of my constituents have asked whether you will be impeached when Republicans gain control next year.” Buck said. “They don’t believe that you’ve committed a high crime, and they don’t believe you’ve committed a misdemeanor. My constituents want you impeached because they believe you’ve committed treason. They believe you’re a traitor. They compare you to Benedict Arnold.
“Secretary Mayorkas, I was at an event this past weekend, and a lady approached me and asked me if you felt any shame for what you’ve done to this country. My question for you, Secretary Mayorkas, is very simple: Would you please answer that lady’s question? Are you ashamed for what you’ve done to this country?”
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“Congressman,” Mayorkas began, “I have so much to say in response to what you have just said. It is so profoundly offensive on so many different levels, in so many different regards. I won’t ask you for an apology.”
“Don’t,” Buck interjected.
“I won’t,” Mayorkas added. “Let me share with you quite succinctly: I am incredibly proud of my service to this country. It is more than 20 years of service in the civilian corps, as a federal prosecutor and as a member of the Department of Homeland Security.”
Mayorkas has appeared before Congress several times in recent weeks. His Wednesday testimony before the House Appropriations Committee made waves when he confirmed the Biden administration was in talks to reallocate resources such as doctors and nurses from the Department of Veterans Affairs to treat migrants at the border.
A group of senators introduced a bill Tuesday that would “prohibit the use by the Department of Veterans Affairs of funds to provide emergency assistance at the southern border of the United States resulting from the repeal of certain public health orders and for other purposes.
Republicans in the House took a similar action earlier in April.
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The Biden administration has been preparing for a spike in migration that would come after it terminates Title 42.
A federal judge in Louisiana blocked the administration from ending the policy Tuesday, however. The judge said the policy must remain in place until the administration can negotiate a satisfactory plan with border states on how to deal with the subsequent border surge.